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What, silent, still? and silent all?
Ah! no;-the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fail,
And answer, "Let one living head,
But one arise, we come; we come!"
"Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain-in vain: strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
Hark! rising to the ignoble call-
How answers each bold bacchanal!
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave-
Think ye he meant them for a slave?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine
We will not think of themes like these!
It made Anacreon's song divine:
He served-but served Polycrates
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks-
They have a king who buys and sells :
In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells;
But Turkish force, and Latin fraud,
Would break your shield, however broad.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade-
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Place me on Sunium's marbled steep-
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die :
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine-
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!
THE seal is set.-Now welcome, thou dread power! Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight hour With a deep awe, yet all distinct from fear; Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls rear Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene Derives from thee a sense so deep and clear That we become a part of what has been, And grow unto the spot, all-seeing but unseen. And here the buzz of eager nations ran, In murmur'd pity, or loud-roar'd applause, As man was slaughter'd by his fellow-man, And wherefore slaughter'd? wherefore, but because Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws, And the imperial pleasure.-Wherefore not? What matters where we fall to fill the maws Of worms-on battle-plains or listed spot? Both are but theatres where the chief actors rot.
I see before me the Gladiator lie:
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his droop'd head sinks gradually low-
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
The arena swims around him-he is gone,
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hail'd the wretch who won.
He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away:
He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother-he, their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday-
All this rush'd with his blood-Shall he expire,
And unaveng'd-Arise! ye Goths, and glut your ire!
THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; Man marks the earth with ruin-his control Stops with the shore ;-upon the watery plain The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, When, for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths, thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,-thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray,
And howling to his gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth :-there let him lay.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war:
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee— Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters wasted them while they were free, And many a tyrant since; their shores obey The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay Has dried up realms to deserts :-not so thou, Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' playTime writes no wrinkle on thine azure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving;-boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of Eternity-the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wanton'd with thy breakers-they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror-'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.
TAKE one example, to our purpose quite.
A man of rank, and of capacious soul,
Who riches had, and fame, beyond desire;
An heir of flattery, to titles born,
And reputation, and luxurious life.
Yet, not content with ancestorial name,
Or to be known because his fathers were ;
He on this height hereditary stood,
And gazing higher, purposed in his heart
To take another step. Above him seemed
Alone the mount of song, the lofty seat
Of canonized bards; and thitherward,
By nature taught, and inward melody,
In prime of youth he bent his eagle eye.
No cost was spared. What books he wished, he read ;
What sage to hear, he heard; what scenes to see,
He saw. And first in rambling school-boy days
Britannia's mountain-walks, and heath-girt lakes,
And story-telling glens, and founts, and brooks,
And maids, as dew-drops pure and fair, his soul
With grandeur filled, and melody and love.
Then travel came, and took him where he wished.
He cities saw, and courts and princely pomp;
And mused alone on ancient mountain brows;
And mused on battle-fields, where valour fought
In other days; and mused on ruins gray
With years; and drank from old and fabulous wells;
And plucked the vine that first-born prophets plucked;
And mused on famous tombs, and on the wave
Of ocean mused, and on the desert waste.